Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I love my country just as much as any Seychellois and we all want the best for our beloved little islands. I do not need the President to tell me how I should express that love nor do I need him to impose his personal definition of patriotism on me. I do not need a national campaign and posters on every lamp post to remind me to love Seychelles! Let’s stop the circus and focus our energy and limited resources on addressing the real issues that our people and our country are facing.

I immigrated to England immediately after the 2006 presidential elections. I keep in touch with friends and family and I visit as often as I can. Through the online media, I follow what is going on. I must say that I’m dismayed at what I hear and read about and was even more depressed at what I saw when I returned home last December. How have we got there? Where did we go wrong? How have we allowed drugs and prostitution to get so out of control that we now need a national campaign - another one – to try and stem them out? How have we allowed our police service to fall into so much decay that people no longer feel safe in their homes? How can government pretend that the world is listening to little Seychelles when the leadership and government appear to be deaf to the voices of their own people; are oblivious  to our ever crumbling health service and education system; the ever widening social divide; the inadequacy of support for our youth and the hardship of so many people? I can list dozens of possible reasons for the mess the country is in today but they all ultimately boil down to politics, greed and the absence of leadership.

The disease that we contracted with the coup d’etat in 1977 is still alive and as strong as ever today as it was in the 70’s and 80’s: Politics. It’s gangrenous and permeates our daily lives. Everything in our little country ends up having a political connotation. If you complain about the weather, you’re bound to find somebody who sees it as a criticism of government. I suppose it’s because the Parti Lepep government wants us to believe that it’s thanks to them that it rains or shines! You have to prove your unreserved allegiance to the Party to get a job, a promotion, to get a government-funded house, an overseas scholarship or a small loan to start your business. The government’s influence even extends to employment in the private sector, as I personally found out in 2006 when I dared to stick my neck out in support of SNP. The situation is so bad that people with little or no other option are forced to resort to “zwe rol” just to get by. The very sad thing is that even part of the local business community have also ended up zwe rol “to protect my business”. The result is that people are employed and promoted, at times into very senior positions, not because of their qualifications, knowledge or competence but because of their political colours. Then we wonder why government service is dysfunctional, incompetent and staff morale is so low and why certain government ministries struggle to recruit and retain staff.

A new government will need to rectify this situation from day one. Politics have no place in the public service as it’s not government’s business to interfere in a private company’s recruitment process. Applicants for a job in the public service should be assessed solely on the requirements of the position applied for. The same should apply for promotions, which in my view, should be assessed by a panel. People applying for government-funded housing and any other service should be assessed according to their needs. There should be a place for everyone who wants to bring their contribution to the development of our country, regardless of their political or religious affiliations. Government needs to show proof of this through concrete actions.

There should be place under the sun for all of us. Our country is full of too many wasted talents. As far as I’m personally concerned, I would rather put my knowledge and experience at the service of my country rather than being in a foreign country, working for a foreign company, however great the company may be.